Following the fortunes of an adolescent girl through changing family dynamics and growing self-realisation, The Lying Life of Adults is a pitch-perfect dissection of Italian family life and the follies of youth.
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year 2021
Giovanna’s pretty face has changed: it’s turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself?
She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.
“Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly. The sentence was uttered under his breath, in the apartment that my parents, newly married, had bought in Rione Alto, at the top of Via San Giacomo dei Capri. Everything—the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a very cold February, those words—remained fixed. But I slipped away, and am still slipping away, within these lines that are intended to give me a story, while in fact I am nothing, nothing of my own, nothing that has really begun or really been brought to completion: only a tangled knot, and nobody, not even the one who at this moment is writing, knows if it contains the right thread for a story or is merely a snarled confusion of suffering, without redemption.”
Publisher: Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 225 x 155 mm
'As you read, a vast panorama of characters slowly unfolds . . . a diverse and dynamic tableau of humanity. Once again, Elena Ferrante has not created a mere story but an entire world.' - Il libraio
'[The Lying Life of Adults] has the expansiveness of great literature—from Balzac to Stendhal to the always beloved Proust [. . .] It is a necessary book, which shows women that today they have the capacity to be ‘truthful, fierce, compassionate,’ where Lila and Lenù—narrowly confined within the 20th century—could not, or could only to an extent.' - Il Manifesto
'[The Lying Life of Adults] is highly addictive.' - Elle (Italy)
'Ferrante shows again how she is unbeatable.' - The Times
You may also be interested in...
“A wonderful and deeply moving story..”
We are back to Naples in Elena Ferrante’s new book, seeing the city through the eyes of the young adolescent narrator Giovanna. Her changing image in the mirror and belief in herself lead her to discover family... More
I did not like this much anticipated book. I enjoyed the Neopolitan Quartet and looked forward to Elena Ferrante’s new novel. I just took an instant dislike to Giovanna. It could be an age thing as at her age I was a... More
“A teenage girl on a social roller coaster”
Yet another layer of Ferrante’ s investigation into the links that bind us to our family nourishing sometimes and true ties at other moments. This time she uses the point of view (and the emotional volcano) of a... More
Please sign in to write a review
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?